Champions League: Real v United, Arsenal v Bayern and Milan vs Barca!

21/12/2012 no comments »
Champions League: Real v United, Arsenal v Bayern and Milan vs Barca!

The round of the last 16 Champions League fixtures were revealed early Thursday morning, with the announcement that ties will be played on either the 12th/13th or 19th/20th February with the second legs  to take place on the 5th/6th or 12th/13th of March.

The draw unveiled some mouth-watering ties, particularly for the British teams who will all face tough opponents in this late stage of the competition. None more so than Manchester United who are drawn against Spanish champions Real Madrid in what will be the first time that former red devil Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford since his world record transfer fee of £80 million back in 2009 to the Bernabeu. The tie is also spiced up by the managers of both clubs as well as the players. The fixture will see Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson re-spark their rivalry since Mourinho’s spell in charge of current Champions League holders Chelsea.

Arsenal, the only other English team left, didn’t get it any easier as they were pulled out to play last year’s finalists and current Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. Both English sides are expected to be knocked out at this stage, according to Skybet, despite the final being played in their home nation at Wembley for the second time in 3 years.  Elsewhere the final British team remaining, Celtic have arguably an even harder task to qualify as they face current Italian champions and league leaders Juventus.

A round up of the rest of the ties that were announced includes Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk facing off against German champions and this year’s dark horses in many pundits eyes Borussia Dortmund. Another potential tie of the round see’s seven time European champions AC Milan play FC Barcelona whilst fellow Spanish side Valencia drew Paris St Germain and Malaga picked out to play FC Porto. The final tie of the last 16 see’s Galatasaray v the third and last German side in the competition FC Schalke.

After the last 16 draw was completed it left the bookmakers making Barcelona firm favourites to lift the trophy, this comes despite having to beat the competitions second most successful team in Milan in order to progress. If the final was decided on odds then it would be an all Spanish El Classico at Wembley as Real Madrid are second favourites, behind Barca to reach the final in May.

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